Goodbye Leningrad


A little girl I am whisked away. All together, Mama, Papa and Babushka (grandma) board a plane to who knows where. We all land safely, on some ground. I ask “Is this where we are moving to?”

         “No, dear not yet, this is where we wait.” I am told.

          Wait?  Alright then, it is a lovely place. Near the beach we stay with Senora Maria. They don’t speak my language here, I quickly realize.  They speak Italian, we are in Lodispoli, somewhere south of Rome, Mama tells me.  There are children there and they are friendly, we play outside, mostly on the beach and I learn “ciao” and many new words as I play each day.  I understand them soon enough and they laugh when I say something funny in Italian but they help me and I learn.

          Three months fly by and the wait is over, we must board another plane. Babushka is tired and somewhat ill; she seems scared as mama and papa explain that we have the “Visa’s” whatever those are, but they are happy so I know it must be a good thing. As the plane lands safely once again I ask “Is this where we are going to live?”  Mama says yes while busy making sure our parcels are all there.

          There are very few parcels, and I was only allowed to bring my favorite doll, just one.  I left the rest behind with my best friend, Katya. She seemed happy but still cried that morning when we left.  She knew we would not see each other again; she was older than I and much cleverer.

          So there we are in a very busy airport once again, waiting.  Suddenly I am whisked into the arms of a beautiful young girl.  She hugs me as black tears rush down her face.  Mama is confused but I know this girl, it is Marina my only cousin.   Mama is shocked she has grown so much, a woman she is and they hug and cry.  Bella and George my Totya (aunt) and Dadya (uncle) are there too.  Everyone is crying, but not me, it’s too exciting with all the commotion.

           I hold Babushkas hand as we walk through “JFK” and it is a long walk for her.  She is tired, very tired and I want to leave this place with all the strange people speaking another language I don’t understand.  Marina speaks it well and I laugh when I learn my first word, “OK”.  Everything is “ok” as we get into the van with our parcels and everyone in the van together.  Mama and Bella keep crying and laughing, they act strange and nervous but I am OK.  We are on our way to our new house, it is May 10, 1979 and it is hotter than I have ever felt before.

Copyright ©2008 Veronica Romm

Can also be found on Blogsboro.com

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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (on the Web 2.0)


From the archives and for new friends:

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We have all been through a breakup and felt the inevitable pangs of pain, surges of tears and very real mourning period following the end of a relationship.  In today’s world, where social networking and social media can be a significant part of many of our lives, old fashioned heartbreak can be compounded by the “Internet breakup”.

Breaking up with someone with whom you shared your likes and dislikes, sent xoxo’s and matched compatibility quiz results with on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and of course the uber-popular Youtube, along with the many other social networks brings forth an entirely new set of issues.  For instance, how long does one wait to remove from one’s page the comments, photos, and “gifts” (sent while in the often delusional. blissful cloud of love) that stare back and now haunt you? This person was your No. 1 spot in your top friends for heavens sake! What is one to do?

Once these are removed and the STATUS in the profile changes from any of the oh-so-charming descriptions ranging from “it’s complicated” or “in committed relationship” to “single”, what is the proper etiquette for well wishers and others who will invariably ask how you are coping, what happened and other questions that may be sincere but can burn through the screen like molten lava?  What to do with the bevy of comments left to make sure you “keep your chin up”, that they are “thinking of you” and whatever other trite phrase  delivered in glitter loitering in cyberspace like floating bullets in a Matrix-like freeze frame. Makes one want to pownce directly into a gaping void.

As in the traditional break up there is always the division of “friends”.  The Internet makes that division a blatantly public and often childish process.  Do they “De-friend you?”  Do you “De-friend” them?  Who does what and how long until someone takes action?  There is always that one first friend that is brave enough to make the friend switch. This person simply enjoys the new friendship more than the original friendship, yet inevitably puts themselves into the center of what may turn into a battle of loyalties, criticism and of course the unbearable insult of being De-friended (they also risk negative posts and g-d knows what from the slighted party).  These friends that once felt Linkdin may experience the pain of being blocked, ignored or even… dare I say… spammed.

So as you sit there and ponder the thought “OMG” this could happen to me and your heart goes all a twitter, feeling like drinking a tumblr of whatever is readily available in the house, I ask you, what are the new rules governing this era of Internet everything? How should this go down and how can you emerge relatively unscathed from all the added remnants now gathering in the cloud? How does one go from being the couple of Web 2.0 to …Web no.0?”

I hereby offer a few initial suggestions and I am sure I will come up with many more, but I need to know what you, the tech-lover, thinks.  Perhaps together we can come up with some basic framework for keeping our net presence intact as we navigate the treacherous on-line break up?

Rules of Disengagement for Internet-related break ups

1. Do not post a breakup blog explaining the gory details.  Such things should be private, even in today’s voyeuristic world.

2. Removal of ex should be done gradually. i.e. they did not disappear from the face of the earth, just perhaps from your life or more visibly, your vlog.  This should be adhered to in order to avoid the inevitable onslaught of queries about your separation. Do it for the other person, if not for yourself.

3. Do not post new pictures of yourself with an ex, a new whatever or overtly salacious images in an attempt to inflict additional pain on your ex (no mater how much you think you hate them).4. It is not recommended posting hourly, self-involved mood updates that will not only indulge the voyeurism of others, but cheapen the anguish you both feel. In a nutshell, don’t twit a twitter.

5. While sending angry emails/IM’s in the wake of your break up, do not digg yourself a hole you cannot climb out of.  This means that words on a screen are forever. Permanent. Nothing is ever truly erased from the web.  So pick your jabs wisely and don’t stumbleupon your own immature cruelty.

6. Do not badmouth your ex. You are an adult..

7. Avoid “tracking” your ex’s web activity. This can only lead to obsession and worse, web stalking.

8. Do not refer in any way to your suddenly, even remarkable renewed sex drive, virility, or promiscuity. This is so far beneath you as to be found somewhere deep in the Earth’s mantle.

9. Take a break from social media. We could all use one.

10. Eat, drink, be merry and do not let the bad experience disillusion you as to the viability of another Web-based relationship – we all benefit from social media, both platonic-socially, and if we are careful and a bit lucky, we may fall for another Tech-god  again, with markedly better results.

Written in collaboration with Michelle Oshen

Copyright ©2008 Veronica Romm

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Electing the American President


Repost from 2008 election. How things change and how they stay the same:

Today November 4, 2008 we are all a part of the most important event in political history.  Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate might possibly become the first black president of the United States.  Watching the two years of endless campaigning has been daunting, annoying, and often shocking.   Republican nominee John McCain, a Vietnam veteran and POW opposes the historical Democratic nominee.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
John McCain
John McCain

While I am writing I am seeing voter turn out in the tri-state area at an all time high rate with lines outside the door in some locations.

The candidates
The candidates

Whatever your thoughts are on the campaign, the candidates or issues one thing can not be denied and that is the importance of this unprecedented election.

What has been a campaign fraught with many unpleasant, ignorant and even funny moments, now comes down to voting.  Nothing would surprise me today or tonight.  I just hope that tomorrow morning there is a new president elect.  May the best man win.

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Ode to Edie: Andy’s Superstar


One from the Archives

Mayflower girl surrounded by sins.
East coast blue blood coursing through her veins.
Santa Barbara born, raised in the bins,
Escaped to New York to ease her pains.

 

Poor little rich girl, embraced by the crowd.
She’s danced like a goddess
And the maker was proud.

Watching as she groped for love and affection.
Welcoming her with his arms open wide.
She couldn’t
Much help it when “It” garnered attention.

He liked all the money and elite cache.
Edie and Andy sounded right, kindred spirits,
With each other to play.

Yet times were quickly changing,
As she was led into the dark.
She looked in the mirror; scarred and ravaged
How did she lose that brilliant spark?

Girl on fire rescued from the flame.
At the Chelsea hotel alone, how far
She had plunged from her fifteen minutes of fame.

Andy created his masterpiece with care.
Then watched as the pieces fell one by one,
Dominoes falling in unison to the sound of despair.

The day she died was just another day.
He pretended and postured, but the truth was in the end
He claimed be barely knew his fragile protégé
.

 

 Copyright ©2008 Veronica Romm

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